Our first book, Bangkok Basics – 101 Tips, has now run its time in the KDP Select programme, which requires that you agree to Amazon having the exclusive rights to sell it for 90 days. The advantage of joining Select is that you can do a freebie launch promotion of up to five days and it helps you rank higher in the Amazon search engine. If your book is in the Select programme, it’s also available to Amazon Prime members to borrow, and you get paid every time someone borrows it. And there’s some good news for those whose book gets borrowed. I recently received an email from Morris Rosenthal (I’m signed up to his email list). Morris reported that Amazon was giving a “Christmas bonus” to its authors by doubling the monthly pot for Select from $700,000 to $1,400,000 for December. (They extended the programme to cover the UK at the same time.)
Despite the promise of the increased pot, I still feel it’s time to move on from publishing exclusively on Amazon. It was worth doing, and a good place to start. Our Bangkok book has made about £170 from sales and borrows since we published it in late August. Not a fortune, to be sure, but a reasonable payment for our time to write the book and an ongoing source of passive income. We achieved this without any shenanigans or cheating, so we can hold our heads up in the knowledge that this is an honest way to make some extra money online.
Now that the book’s out of the Select programme, I’ve been looking at other places where we can sell it. Amazon’s big rival, Barnes & Noble, and their Nook programme may at first seem to be the obvious place to go next. However, I had already discovered Smashwords, which looks very promising. So, today’s big task is to get our Bangkok book published on Smashwords. I’ll report back soon.